by OPOVV, ©2017
(Oct. 6, 2017) — As the music, “In the Hall of the Mountain King” (2:33), starts, the auditorium lights dim and the curtain rises on a well-lit stage. The actors, dressed like US NAVY sailors, some in khaki and more in dungarees, frantically set the stage as the aft-deck end (fantail) of a destroyer. The stage is lit by one spotlight where the stagehands-turned-actors gather, face the audience and sing “One Summer Night” (2:28). The stage lights brighten with sailors polishing turnbuckles, holystoning, painting and leaning on the lifeline looking out to sea.
Sailor #1: “So what’s up?”
Sailor #2: “With what?”
Sailor #1: “Life. What’s up with life is all I’m asking. I mean, we humans have been on this earth for a mighty long time, don’t you figure?”
Sailor #2: “Goes without saying.”
Sailor #1: “Look at me; look at you, out here in the middle of nowhere. Civilians talk about the boondocks; they ought to take a Navy cruise. Why can’t we ever sail on a shipping lane?”
Sailor #2: “What do you say, Lieutenant? How come we never see any other ships? There’s got to be thousands of things floating on the water.”
Lieutenant: “I suppose so no one knows where we are, is the obvious answer.”
Sailor #1: “If you don’t mind me asking, sir, when are you going to let the other shoe drop? I mean, what we’re asking is the non-obvious reason.”
As the stage lights dim, the crew gathers under the spotlight and sings “Lonely Days, Lonely Nights” (2:21). Spotlight out as stage lights brighten and everyone goes back to what they were doing.
Sailor #1: “When I was a little kid I saw the musical ‘South Pacific’ where the actors would just break into song. Is that what life is like in the NAVY? We just break into song every once in a while? Like in an Elvis film where the song has no relation to the subject matter at hand, am I right?”
Lieutenant: “The kernel of truth is a hard nut to crack.”
Sailor #1: “No, really: is this the real US NAVY or not? Maybe we’ll answer with a song?”
Stage lights dim as the spotlight shines down on the crew singing “Because of You” (2:16). Stage lights brighten as the spot is extinguished. Crew goes back as before.
Sailor #1: “For real: I understand the Doo-Wop, but where are the instruments?”
Sailor #3: “Inside the 5” mount. On a real NAVY ship we just do a capella.”
Sailor #1: “So, what are we doing? Is this a recruitment musical?”
Lieutenant: “You got it, sailor.”
Sailor #1: “Beggin’ your pardon, sir, but this is nuts. Sailors just don’t break into song.”
Sailor #4: “They do if they’re holystoning.”
Sailor #1: “$10 says we’re going to start singing again.”
Stage lights dim as the crew sings “Tonight (Could be the Night)” (2:06), spot-off; lights on; crew back to work.
Sailor #1: “Look, all I want to know is what’s the meaning of life. Is that asking too much? And don’t all start singing; answer the question. Anyone.”
Lieutenant: “It’s the number one mystery of the universe and has yet to be answered, except by trying your best to live by the Golden Rule. Take Chicago, for instance. Just because it’s against the law to have a gun doesn’t stop anyone from having a gun. There’s an old saying that ‘locks are for honest people.’”
Stage lights dim; spot on as crew sings “Tonight I Fell in Love” (1:46). As the song ends, the crew exits the stage, leaving the Lieutenant addressing the audience.
Lieutenant: “Thanks for watching ‘US Navy: the Musical.’ I hope you enjoyed a trip down Doo-Wop memory lane, and for those of you who are thinking of joining the military, the Navy offers some interesting alternatives.”
As the spotlight dims to off, the house lights come on as the exit music, “Texas Blues in A,” (4:44), is played.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.